A Mammal Is an Animal

illus. by Lizzy Rockwell. 40p. bibliog. chart. Holiday House. Feb. 2018. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780823436705.
K-Gr 2—Aimed at young students just learning the different classifications of animals, this book provides basic information about mammal characteristics and ways to identify them. Specific traits are introduced one at a time, with examples of creatures at each stage, both mammals and nonmammals, to highlight the differences. The tone of the writing is conversational and best lends itself to sharing aloud with a small group. ("Let's try this. A bullfrog is an animal. A bullfrog breathes air into its lungs. But is a bullfrog a mammal? No!") Ink-and-watercolor illustrations are detailed and complement the text nicely. Labeled drawings showcase a variety of animals both in their natural habitats and on plain white backgrounds. Captions in a different typeface provide basic facts. Additional data and reference sources are appended.
VERDICT A solid option for classrooms and libraries looking for a title that has a calming narrative tone.

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